Taken together, the two books struck Frederick K. Errington, an anthropologist at Trinity College in Hartford, as a “one-two punch.” The haves prosper because of happenstance beyond their control, while the have-nots are responsible for their own demise.
One suspects that the Hohokam were content to let the place melt. Depending on which eyeglasses you are wearing, Casa Grande is a story of environmental collapse or of adaptation and resilience. When conditions no longer favored centralization the people moved on, re-emerging as the O’odham tribes and a thriving casino industry.
Abandonment as a strategy.
No one visits Stonehenge, she noted, and asks whatever happened to the English.
Why did the British Empire collapse? Or the United States during the Great Depression? Or the American South after the Civil War? Diamond doesn't ask or answer these questions. Somehow it's not proper to apply anthropological analyses to sophisticated people like us.
Primitive societies collapse because, well, they're primitive, implies Diamond. Advanced societies collapse for mysterious reasons that have nothing to do with their inhabitants' inherent nature. For instance, we don't say Southerners were too primitive and savage to survive in the modern world, even though they owned slaves. We say the North won because it was richer and more industrialized.
I haven't read Jared Diamond's Collapse, but the naysayers are correct about Guns, Germs, and Steel. He addresses some of the reasons civilizations flourish, but not the key ones. As I wrote in my review: